DODDER (Cuscuta suaveolens Syr.), MISTLETOE (Tristerix corymbosus L.) AND BROOMRAPE (Orobanche ramosa L.): PARASITIC WEEDS OF ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE IN CHILE
Juan Ormeño Núñez*
Dodder (Cuscuta suaveolens Syr.), and broomrape (Orobanche ramosa L.) are holoparasitic weeds that produce the most severe damage to crops. The former affects the stems of sugar beet and alfalfa, while the latter damages the roots of crops from the Solanaceae Family, especially tomatoes for both fresh consumption and industrial processing. The mistletoe species (Tristerix corymbosus (L.) Kujit) is a hemiparasitic and a woody perennial weed associated to trees and bushes, which specially affects Italian poplar and whipping willow trees. With the sole exception of basic taxonomic studies on these parasitic weeds, there is limited and clearly insufficient information regarding basic aspects of the ecology, biology and their control. In fact, due to its exceptionally difficult control all these parasitic weeds have been acquiring more importance in agriculture. Moreover, this specific relationship between host and parasite presents a unique opportunity for plant physiology studies, particularly using biotechnological techniques. The case of the native species dodder and mistletoe is particularly relevant and a cause of concern since there is limited technical information available to Chilean farmers and research projects for the study of these weeds are almost inexistent at national level.
Keywords: broomrape, mistletoes, dodder, parasitic weeds
Estación Experimental San Isidro Labrador, Hijuela 2, Parcela 1, Camino Padre Hurtado, Huelquén, Paine, Región Metropolitana, Chile. *Autor para correspondencia: E-mail: email@example.com